CROWN HEIGHTS — Three gang members have been indicted on murder charges in the death of Carey Gabay, an attorney in the Cuomo administration who was fatally shot last Labor Day, the Brooklyn District Attorney and NYPD said Wednesday.
Micah Alleyne, 24, of Queens, Tyshawn Crawford, 21, of East New York and Keith Luncheon, 24, of Crown Heights, are set to be formally charged on the indictment Wednesday afternoon for their involvement in a gang-on-gang gun fight outside the Ebbets Field apartments during the pre-West Indian Day Parade celebration of J’Ouvert, according to Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and District Attorney Kenneth Thompson.
Though prosecutors have not identified who, specifically, shot 43-year-old Gabay on Sept. 7, 2015, all three indicted men — each a member of a different Brooklyn street gang — face depraved indifference murder charges under a “mutual combat” theory, Thompson said, because all the shooters engaged in a gang “battle” and are therefore equally responsible for the killing.
“It is a way for us to deal with these gangs and they can’t argue ‘Oh, we didn’t intend to kill anyone.’ Everyone who fired that night that we can identify is equally culpable in the death of Carey Gabay,” Thompson explained at a press conference Wednesday morning.
Thompson said the gunfight was the result of ongoing beef between the Folk Nation gang, which has members in the Crown Heights complex on Bedford Avenue, and a faction of the Crips gang known as the “8-Trey Crips,” based in Brownsville.
During the J’Ouvert event, in which hundreds of people flood the street to celebrate the beginning of the Carnival holiday, the Folk Nation starting shooting on 8-Trey from the patio of the Ebbets Field apartments when they spotted the rival gang members, officials said.
“When they see each other, there is no talking, just shooting,” Thompson said. “And that’s exactly what happened the night that Carey was shot.”
Prosecutors believe as many as 20 armed gang members were present during the shoot-out. A fourth man, Stanley Elianor, 25, of Brownsville, was indicted last fall on weapons charges after he was found in a car stop with a gun linked to the shooting, the district attorney said.
“Those two gangs, the Folk Nation and the 8-Trey Crips, turned a joyous celebration literally into a killing field,” he said.
In light of the gun violence, Bratton said this year’s J’Ouvert celebration will be “significantly policed,” with proper permitting and more lighting, and law enforcement will have a particular focus on known gang members who will be “under intense scrutiny,” he said.
“‘Depraved indifference.’ I can think of no two words that describe more these three young men,” Bratton said of the defendants.
Both the commissioner and district attorney made it clear they do not believe the gunfight had anything to do with the pre-dawn celebration of J’Ouvert — Bratton said “these gang members had no part … with that parade other than to bring their guns to it.” — but emphasized that more will be done this year to “bring legitimacy” to the event.
“We want to get the controversy out of it,” Bratton said.
Gabay’s mother, widow Trenelle Gabay, sister and brother-in-law were present at Wednesday’s announcement, but did not speak publicly about the investigation. Previously, Trenelle Gabay has appeared with Bratton to speak out about gun violence and urge for more policing at J’Ouvert.
On Wednesday, Bratton emphasized that despite the three indictments in the murder, the “extraordinarily complex” case is still open.
“There are other suspects out there that we intend to arrest and will continue to seek the cooperation from the public in giving us information,” he said.